We’ve all read about the Narcissist using projection to cast their undesirable feelings and actions onto us.  One example is by accusing us of cheating…conducting an ongoing inquisition in order to find proof of our infidelity.  He or she does this because they are unfaithful, and they project that trait onto us.  Deep down, they want to believe everyone else is like them.  If other people are cheaters, too, then they aren’t so bad after all.  It lessens their guilt.  Only, they normally don’t find the proof they are looking for.  This produces heightened anxiety because then they can’t rationalize their own behaviors when they are caught or confronted.  In turn, they infinitely look for clues they will never find. 

Another lesser-known tactic used by the Narcissist is introjection.  This is typically used during the first stage of the relationship along with love-bombing.  Narcissists are drawn to people who have high moral character and a tolerance for the uncomfortable (their polar opposite).  They replicate these traits to snare their victim, giving the illusion of being their soul-mate and a kindred spirit.  While Narcissists can successfully deceive most personality types, they typically target those who are Empaths, Highly Sensitive, and/or INFJ.  This is because these personalities tend to want to “save the world”, have the ability to absorb the negative emotions of others, and usually don’t set up healthy boundaries in relationships. 

So, how can you tell if your new partner is a Narcissist and using introjection?  The first step is to trust your instinct.  If something doesn’t feel quite right, you are probably onto something.  However, we sometimes get so caught up in the apparent “magic” of it all, the red flags become invisible.  In order to avoid a world of anguish later, heed the following signs that your new date is using the tactics of a Narcissist (I use “he” as a matter of consistency; females can be Narcissists, too):

  • He says and does all the right things.
  • He bombards you with affection, sending you constant texts, emails, and messages on your social platforms.
  • He asks you personal questions about your background and past relationships, although you’ve only known him a short time.  (A Narcissist does this not as a matter of interest, but as a matter of research so he can perfect his false image). 
  • He does most of the talking when you are together; usually regarding topics he knows interest you.  (He does this to enhance the image he wants you to have of the two of you being compatible).
  • It’s as though the two of you have almost everything in common.
  • If the subject of money comes up, and you are having challenges, he offers to help you financially. (Don’t fall for it; it’s like signing your soul over to them).
  • He somehow fills in all your emotional gaps. 

Once in a rare while, a person who does these things might be a real soul-mate, so how can you tell the difference?

  • Casually bring up a male acquaintance.  It could be a friend or a colleague.  How does he react?  If your new partner starts to look uncomfortable or visibly gets angry or jealous, you likely have a Narcissist on your hands.
  • Make yourself unavailable for a few days.  What’s his reaction?  If he exhibits jealousy or accuses you of cheating or seeing someone else, that’s a good sign he’s a Narcissist.
  • Does he act possessive, getting anxious if you show the need for some space?
  • Do you find yourself feeling increasingly uncomfortable instead of the other way around?  In a normal relationship, the two parties will begin to feel more comfortable being themselves by the passing of time.  In an abusive relationship, you will feel you can’t be yourself or express your opinions.
  • Does he want you to stop spending time with your friends, and spend every spare moment with him; claiming he can’t go a minute without you?

Once rooted into a relationship with a Narcissist, it is becomes difficult to end because of brainwashing, finances, the birth of children, or ongoing physical and/or emotional violence.  The Narcissist is free to show their true inner self. The mask of an honorable, caring person is maintained for outsiders, while behind closed doors, the nightmare begins.  Do yourself a favor and leave before that happens.